vanpelt 030320 1CHICAGO – Over the past several weeks, Chicago has seen gun violence rates higher than they’ve been in 60 years. In response to the violence, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

“I am incredibly disheartened by all the bloodshed that has occurred in our city. Too many lives have been lost these past few weeks. Our children deserve to live in their communities without fear. Our children deserve to live in areas where their zip code won’t determine their livelihoods.

“Ending gun violence will require a multi-layered approach that addresses the history of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and destruction of the family unit Black Chicagoans have suffered. Gentrification, poverty, restricted access to opportunities and life necessities - all are forms of violence. These socioeconomic conditions are rooted in racist systems, and must be addressed as such. Systemic racism is a public health crisis, and it’s been around way longer than COVID-19.

“When one neighborhood suffers, we all do. True equity, economically and in every other facet of life, is the only solution. We must all commit to reinvesting in our communities and wiping out the roots of violence, and I will work to make sure we get the funding necessary to fight these inequities.”